Place Abbé Joseph André 7 , 5000, Namur, Belgium
Status of Establishment
The prison of Namur was designed by Edouard Ducpétiaux, the first General-Inspector of prisons in the independent Belgium, who conceived other prisons as well. Inaugurated in 1876, this institution is built on the famous model of the four-pointed star regarding Namur.Three detention wings for men surround a post that initially was for observation only, whereas the women’s ward is situated in the two storeys of the fourth branch, whose ground floor houses the administrative premises and the visit ward. In 1970, a psychiatric ward was built as an extension of wing B.From a cellular regime aiming at the prisoners’ isolation so that they could make amends, the prison progressively and irremediably developed into a more communal regime.The objective now is the prisoner’s socio-professional rehabilitation, with the prison not only serving as an incapacitating place, but also and perhaps mainly as a bridge to socially appropriate behaviour and life.The prison of Namur is established in the middle of the city, a trend that reverses itself today. Thanks to this location, the prison is very popular among the convicts, who can have visitors more easily than in modern prisons off centre.It is politically scheduled in the Master Plan to replace it by a more modern prison that complies with the current comfort and safety standards, but nobody really knows when that should take place.